How to Teach Scentwork

Everything you need to know about teaching your love of scentwork

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This Pro-Track course is designed especially for you if . . .

You love scentworking with your own dog.

You want to earn more by adding scentwork classes to your business

You've been looking for a truly pet friendly scentwork provider.

You want to be the very best for your clients.

Teaching scentwork to pet dogs and their people requires a very specific skill set. Unlike Police or Forces handlers, your clients come with a variety of breed types, none of which have been specially selected to be scentwork dogs, but all of whom can give the professionals a run for their money given half a chance! Your job is to bring out the detector dog in every pet dog that walks into your training hall.

Never before have I shared the secrets that have made Talking Dogs Scentwork® trainers the best in the business. But I share your passion, I want every dog to be a detector dog and you want to train them. Together we can help each other reach our goals.

By way of an 8 week training program that, when you are ready, you can use with your clients, I share the experience and skills I've learned while delivering hundreds of workshops to thousands of people. Using best practice protocols over the course of 10 lectures, I share:

Not just the how's, but also the why's of:

  • Setting up your training hall
  • Assessing the right target scent for each dog
  • Teaching systematic, professional handling skills from free searches to a full search plan
  • Ensuring success for each individual team, dog and handler

  • Blind, blank, free and directed searches
  • Keeping scentwork fun while building stamina and duration

  • Coaching clients effectively at every stage of their scentwork journey

You'll find everything you need to learn how to be a supportive, knowledgable scentwork trainer plus the tools to deliver a great scentwork course to your clients. Each lesson includes Lesson Aims, Learning Goals for dog and handler, toolkit lists for trainer and client, plus a full set of client handouts.

Devising this course has been a labour of love for me. It includes:

  • 40+ video clips - to illustrate challenges and solutions, demo how to coach different teams, different breed types, work in a variety of environments and more

  • Downloadable 38 page course booklet

  • Downloadable syllabus and client handouts for an 8 week Starter Scentworkers course

"After completing this course many years ago I recently plucked up the courage to start teaching. My first students are absolutely flourishing and its a joy to watch. The lesson plan set out in your course is really easy to follow and sets everyone up to suceed."

- Amy Kellaway


Believe in yourself

Invest in your future

Excel for your clients

"Well laid out course, giving one as the instructor practical overviews for each lesson. The videos are wonderful to learn from, as Pam explains what is going on in the videos as well as one can learn form her style of instruction."

- Ilse Colic

"How to Teach Scentwork is well made and presented. Really enjoy watching your material, refreshing to see somethings I teach discussed by you."

- Grant Smith, The Smart Dog Training Centre

In combination with his previous experience, Grant completed this course and became a Talking Dogs Scentwork® Elite Trainer. This could be you too - let's get teaching!

"I have recently discovered the joys of scentwork and an now addicted to it. Firstly, because my dogs love it so much but also because it is something we can do together that has many benefits for them and also builds the relationship between you and your dog and is something fun to do together. I have particularly enjoyed the Talking Dogs Scentwork because the focus is on enjoyment and fun for the dog in particular. As a dog trainer myself I would now like to add scentwork to my business so have just completed the How to teach Scentwork course. It is interesting and informative and sets out in detail exactly what you need to do and at a very reasonable price. I will definitely be doing more courses."

- Helen Bowker

Trainer Bev Smith, showing off her certificate. Her dogs Lexi and Skye are rightly impressed!

"A well presented, comprehensive course, learnt a lot would recommend if you want to hone your scent training skills"

- Di Rhodes

Believe in yourself

Invest in your future

Excel for your clients

Let's get started!

Get started now!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 14 days and we will give you a full refund.
Will completing this course qualify me as a scentwork trainer?
In a word - no. Dog training is a physical activity requiring knowledge of mechanical skills as well as theoretical. I’ve written this course to give you a head start, to understand how and why to teach certain things without struggling to negotiate some of the challenges that will surely come your way. But you need to practise to become proficient.
Will completing this course allow me to become a Talking Dogs Scentwork Accredited Trainer?
It will assist in your application, but you will need to go through the usual application process (as detailed on the website) and to see you training before you can become one of my Accredited Trainers.
Does this course use active or passive indications?
Talking Dogs Scentwork® works exclusively with active indications. However, excluding lesson 1, all the other lectures can be adapted to passive indications.
I haven't taught my own or any other dog to search for a specific target scent. Is this course suitable for me?
Not yet. But once you have, come back and start learning about scentwork from the trainer's perspective.

Your Instructor

Pam Mackinnon
Pam Mackinnon
As a professional dog trainer for 30+ years, I have used scentwork to help thousands of dogs work with their owners to be more attentive, less reactive, more relaxed, less agitated. As a universal skill that can be learned by all dogs and all owners, the flexibility, fast results and good old fashioned fun found in scentwork led me to form Talking Dogs Scentwork® in 2011.

Since then I've been working hard to keep up with demand, such is the interest in scentwork. I work hard to stay at the forefront of my profession, staying creative, pushing boundaries and confounding expectations of what pet dogs can do. As the first national provider of scentwork training for non-selected (pet) dogs in Great Britain, TDS has quickly grown into the go-to scentwork training provider, with the TDS Detector Dog manual proving more popular than I could have ever imagined, selling well all over the world, but particularly in the UK, Europe and USA. I specialise in teaching all breed types, all ages, all abilities (physical, mental and emotional) Combining my years as a professional drug detector dog handler for HM Customs with my experience as a pet dog training and behaviour consultant, I tailor my teaching to dogs who don't have jobs, those who have been selected as companions rather than tools of the trade.

I work full time teaching Talking Dogs Scentwork® at workshops. online, at conferences and with major organisations, including Dogs Trust, Puppy School, Victoria Stilwell and the prestigious Woof! Conference.

Some of my working highlights include:

  • Drug Detector Dog Handler with HM Customs & Excise
  • Sirius Puppy Trainer in association with Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • Assistance Dog Trainer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
  • Behaviourist for Wood Green Animal Shelters
  • Founding & running Talking Dogs Scentwork®, part of Talking Dogs Ltd.
  • Creating TD Rally® - a sport for pet dogs & their people